Alvarado Water Tretment Plant - Executive Summary
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY |
The Alvarado Water Treatment Plant was built in the early 1950's and became an architecture center piece of the community due to its beauty and mission style design. The Alvarado Water Treatment Plant has a maximum water treatment capacity of 120 million gallons per day, with a current capitol improvement project goal of expanding treated water capacity. The facility is located on a mesa on relatively flat terrain bounded by the Lake Murray Reservoir to the north, and by residential areas in other directions bordering the City of La Mesa. There is elevated terrain across the reservoir, and downward-sloping terrain to the south.
Historically, the Alvarado Water Treatment Plant has used liquid chlorine to treat and disinfect water from the Lake Murray Reservoir and the San Diego County Water Authority as the two main sources, making it suitable for use in the City of San Diego's drinking water distribution system. The one-ton pressurized liquid cylinders are recei
ved at the loading dock of the Chlorine Room.
The Alvarado Water Treatment Plant has a well trained and committed operations and maintenance staff with a record of nearly 40-years of using chlorine safely. To support the efforts of continued safe handling and use of chlorine at the Alvarado Water Treatment Plant, senior management has committed to the development of a comprehensive Process Safety Management Program under the guidelines of State and Federal mandates which has involved complete engineering reviews of the chlorine feed system and design certification.
As with the use of any hazardous chemicals, the use of chlorine in this treatment process poses the potential for an accidental release that could have offsite consequences. It is for this reason that several years ago, under the provisions of the recently promulgated Risk Management Program Rule (40 CFR 68), the Alvarado Water Treatment Plant conducted an assessment of offsite consequences of accident scenario
s involving the uncontrolled release of chlorine to the surrounding environment. Under the provisions of the rule, the treatment process used at the Alvarado Water Treatment Plant is considered a "Program 3" process, and as such we conducted an analysis (a) a "worst-case" release scenarios and (b) one or more alternative release scenarios. The analysis of offsite consequences produced information incorporated into the Risk Management Plan (RMP) which covers population and environmental receptors in the environs within the affected areas.
Several technological upgrades were made to enhance our emergency response capabilities if a chlorine leak were to occur: 1) Chlorine leak detection sensors were added from the chlorine cylinder storage room throughout the feed system which activates an alarm in the plant when low-levels of chlorine are detected; 2) A computerized program called "Wonderware" allows the Duty Plant Operator to assess immediately from the Operations Control Room what pa
rt of the chlorine feed system is alarming without leaving the control room; 3) An automatic chlorine shut-off system was installed to minimize a chlorine release by securing the chlorine at the cylinder; 4) Several safe-work-practices for the operations and maintenance sections have been developed in conjunction with other safety programs to insure employees work and respond safely.
The Alvarado Water Treatment Plant, in conjunction with the Water Department Emergency Management Coordinator, have developed and tested a Chlorine Emergency Response Plan. The Emergency Response Plan was developed to support the Water Plant Operator in the event a chlorine release occurs and additional resources are needed to mitigate the situation. The San Diego Fire Department, Hazardous Materials Incident Response Team is dedicated to respond to our water plants if we have an incident. The Alvarado Water Treatment Plant has a Business Plan that identifies evacuation points on the site and provides
additional emergency information about chlorine and additional contacts if needed. The Alvarado Water Treatment Plant has had no significant accidental releases of chlorine within the last five years requiring plant evacuation or requiring offsite evacuation or consequences.
The Alvarado Water Treatment Plant is currently going through several upgrades of its treatment processes. One of the most significant additions will be a new Chlorine Facility with complete containment and scrubbers. Additionally, upgraded security systems will be added to all access points to allow the duty operator to monitor the complete facility with ease.